Sunday, July 18, 2010

People Will Stare

Got out of the house today! I'd been fantasizing about going to Target for 2 days now and this morning, my dream became a reality. I prepared Judah for the wig-wearing and asked him his preference (apparently he likes the blonde bob) before I got dressed. Dan took him to the pool so my mom could accompany me to Tar-jay in peace (retail therapy requires focus). I grabbed my wristlet (I'm so stylish even though I'm not allowed to carry more than 10 lbs.), water, and sunglasses and we were out.

Now. I am honestly telling you I left the house thinking I was looking somewhat normal (except for the brownish bruise snaking up the right side of my chest where the catheter connects the port to my vein). I was thinking that the wig vs. scarf/hat (screams cancer patient) vs. shaved head dilemma would be best solved by just going with the wig. Really, we humans do look more, say, regular, with hair. We're just so used to seeing most people with it (especially ourselves), that when it's gone, it's difficult not to do a double-take. So with wig, sunglasses, pink sundress and even my sparkly wedding rings on, I am feeling "normal".

We get to Target and I am all about the motorized-seated-scooter-cart. We unplug it from its charger and we are on our way. I am trying not to mow people down as I get the hang of driving it (I am even chuckling to myself as I type this the memory is just so ridiculous). Shopping is grand! Why did I not do this before?? No walking? No standing? Just reach or even point, and objects can appear in my cart (c/o my overworked and underpaid mother)! We love this, throwing leggings and yes, more sundresses into the basket.

Eventually, the wig feels tight and slightly itchy. I start to slide it around on my head, attempting to relieve the discomfort. I even ask my mom, "What if I just took this off now?"

"You can do whatever you want," she replies.

"But people will stare if I take it off," I counter.

We burst out laughing. Yeah, people will stare. Are people not staring now? (Let me answer that for you. Yes, people were definitely staring.) I am still laughing at the thought of this moment. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in this position, on this scooter, in this store, skinny (HA!!) and weak (physically speaking) and battling cancer. Deep breath, head shake.

We made it out spending less than $100, which is always considered successful, and without causing any major scenes. Did come close at checkout when the cashier tried to turn her light off as we were getting into her line. They do not make the checkout aisles big enough for the reverse scooter maneuver, so I chose to stay put. The wig remained on until we got into the car, when I realized 1 hour is probably a good chunk of time to consider keeping it on my head (for future planning).

Thank you for sticking with me as I battle through not just cancer, but little bits of everyday business that feel like monumental undertakings. I was out and about (not at the doctor's office getting labs checked) and loving it.

Looking ahead, I have a CT/PET scan scheduled for Friday, July 23 (first appt. of the day!) to get a look at our progress. My energy level is slowly a-rising, so the posts they will keep a-coming.



  1. Hooray for a day out of the house and no doctors involved! What did you get at Target?

  2. Who is that behind her Foster Grants? You look like a movie star at Tar-jay, and what an advertisement you are for all things "normal". Joyce

  3. Loved this post. Congrats on getting out of Target without spending $150!! Do what ya gotta do, baby!!!!! Fig on/fig off... no difference. You're beautiful either way. Let 'em stare, then ask "do I know you"?

  4. This post brought back memories for me. I took my mom to Target - the one in Abington with the escalator, since she was getting treatments at Abington hospital. She insisted on buying me a vacuum... Anyway, she never covered her head. At the time, I wished she would because she had a NASTY scar from her surgery. Not only did people stare, but I distinctly remember someone stopping us and asking her about her scar/"condition" etc. Seriously? I think that wig, scarf, beautiful bald head, whatever...people will stare. I mean, although I'm not proud of it, I stare at people based simply on what they're wearing. So, screw everybody and do whatever makes you feel "normal" for a few minutes.

  5. O GEEEZ - - - - I am SO all over that scooter~~ AND the fact that you got out of Tar-jay for under 100 bucks!!! My sister (who had ovarian cancer) HATED her wig 'cuz it was itchy. Where does vanity end and comfort begin??? No telling, I suppose. Anyway, this IS your normal for awhile (even tho' it probably changes every day) so make the most of it - - - have a blast. You still look GREAT :)

  6. Well done! My Turkish mother, the not-so-closeted nudist, would applaud you. She complained that Americans were way to worried about how things looked and never understood why she caused a stir when slipping out of her wet bikini (at age 50,55,60,65,70,75,80,85)with a few loose towels draped around her as she pulled on a dry one, poolside or at the beach. She preached COMFORT! She couldn't have given a hoot if anyone stared! Enjoy yourself! That was her motto. And she did, no matter what predicament she found herself in. And there were many,many, many predicaments...

  7. You look terrific. Keep moving forward. Your body will tell you when to rest. Wigs do become a bit "uncomfortable" after about an hour. Emend does a great job keeping nausea at bay. I also experienced bone pain the day after my neulasta shot. The only other info I can offer is, not to be around people with colds etc. Your immune system is a little compromised. Use purell. Praying that your next round of tests are good. Be well. Say hello to your mom for me.
    Barbara Harrington
    New Jersey

  8. I rode one of those carts at Whole Foods after my first surgery - they are so much fun!

    Mike and I think about you often. Feel better.